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Mitch SMith


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Syria: What is the core principle?

I have a friend who is a Syrian ex-pat.
He runs a grocery store in my town and I meet him almost every day.
When the Syrian conflict started getting bad I asked him about it. He said:

"We have a saying - when elephants fight, the grass is killed".

He went on to say: "I have a brother in a town that is at risk .. I plan to go in through Turkey and get him out of there." .. He has not been able to do that yet. And he explained to me the factional power that most Syrians understand .. the Sunnis, the Shiites and the Alawi .. but there are also Druze, Coptics etc etc..

And now, the USA wants to throw bombs to destroy critical infrastructure - regardless of who gets killed in the process.

This is a subject that is so complex that no one can really know what is happening.

My question to the TED community is this:

What is the basic principle?

My friend alludes to elephants and grass .. that seems basic.

Is there any other reliable abstract to be had?


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  • Sep 17 2013: Nobody wants war right? But, war per se, has not been proposed. Funny thing is that when anybody talks about this subject, it's always framed in those terms, and like, we're going to bomb Syria in general. This is diverting from the real matter at hand, which frankly so is to ask about core principles, which I'm sure exist, and abstracts...forget about abstracts; the matter at hand is: will the world stand by while multitudes of innocent civilians get slaughtered in a power hungry genocide by the Assad regime, looks like it. I happen to have been watching this revolution unfold from the beginning about 2 1/2 years ago, when the student protesters were open fired upon. Usually you can tell when a video is honest and shot by an activist covering the war. What I have seen is the targeting of children, journalists, and the unrestrained murder of anyone trying to get in Assad's way, including his own troops. Yes, all of the activist videos are on YouTube and show a disgusting and embarrassing situation that the free world is allowing to continue. We are talking about surgical strikes guided by the US military and the Free Syrian Army. The FSA was the citizen's response to Assad's brutality and receives nothing but suspicion and empty promises. The are trying to save their families, but now other groups have joined in to muddle the crisis. We know where Assad is, that's the head of the snake. Syrians under the control of the regime are afraid to take any opposing action because they and their families would be eliminated. We're all standing by and letting this happen. Don't take you eye off of the ball. Assad uses all means at his disposal to commit genocide and spread fear. Also, Putin kills babies!
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      Sep 17 2013: Hi Harry,

      Forget abstracts?

      You are attempting to stop people understanding.

      There is a major abstract that you yourself have fallen victim to:
      The attraction of conflict - all males have this, there is a desire to join the fray - it needs no excuse, but will use one if it can.

      War developed and exists in Syria - to let ourselves become entrapped by our own irrational urges will do nothing but increase and spread the conflict.

      I do not believe the humanitarian excuse.
      I think we must be aware of our motives - gain the wisdom and be equipped for a better result.

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